Professor Rohan W Jayasekara,
MBBS, PhD (N’Cle, U.K), C.Biol., MSB (Lond.),
Dean and Senior Professor of Anatomy
Director - Human Genetics Unit
Prof Rohan W. Jayasekara is the first academic from a Basic Sciences Department in the Faculty to be elected Dean. He joined the Faculty of Medicine as a lecturer on January 1, 1974 and in 1977 proceeded on a Commonwealth Research Scholarship to the Department of Human Genetics, University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK to read for his PhD in Cytogenetics, which he obtained in 1980. That year he was made a Chartered Biologist and a Member of the Society of Biology, London. On his return to Sri Lanka he established the first Human Genetics Unit in the country in 1983.
In 1989, he was awarded a Commonwealth Senior Medical Fellowship where he acquired postdoctoral experience at Guys Hospital London, New Addenbrookes Hospital Cambridge and at the Department of Human Genetics, University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the U.K.
He is a pioneer in the field of Medical Genetics in Sri Lanka having taught many generations of undergraduates and postgraduates in Medical Genetics. He was appointed to the Chair in the Department of Anatomy in 1999 and is at present the Senior Professor of Anatomy and the Founder Director of the Human Genetics Unit. For his work in population genetics and publishing of the original research article “Genetic Variation in Sri Lanka” Professor Jayasekara was made a Fellow of the Galton Institute, London.
In the field of postgraduate education, successful Masters and Doctoral programmes are at present being conducted at the Human Genetics Unit with 18 postgraduates reading for their respective degrees. He also introduced Medical Genetics to 15 postgraduate courses at the PGIM and other Professional Colleges and Associations. In addition he has been an examiner in Anatomy and Genetics for 10 specialties and has been a member of 6 Boards of study at the PGIM.
Prof. Jayasekara is a Senior academic having had a wide range of administrative experience serving as acting Dean, acting Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine (PGIM), member of the University Senate, member of the Board of Management of the PGIM and member of the University of Colombo Council for many years.
He has also chaired several National Committees such as the one on “Genetically Modified [GM] Food in Sri Lanka” for the Ministry of Health and the Committee that formulated a Draft National Policy on the “Biomedical Ethics of the New Genetics and Assisted Reproductive Technologies in Sri Lanka” for the National Science and Technology Commission[NASTEC].
In the field of Sports Administration and Education, Prof. Jayasekara was a member of the National Sports Council in 2001 and was also a Founder Member and former President of the Sri Lanka Sports Medicine Association, which is affiliated to the International Federation of Sports Medicine[FIMS]. He was the founder Chairman of the Board of Study in Sports Medicine at the PGIM, under whose chairmanship the first Diploma for doctors in Sports Medicine was conducted and preparations were made for the launch of an MD programme in the field. He is currently a member of the Expert Medical Advisory Panel of the National Olympic Council of Sri Lanka.